How Do I Stop My Puppy From Biting?

Is there anything cuter than a puppy? They’re adept at worming their way into our hearts. One look from those big, beautiful eyes and we melt. Their antics and even the mischief they get up to are all easy to forgive. 

Is there anything more annoying than a puppy that bites? When they start attacking your shoes, you’re willing to give them a little leeway. After all, it’s just a phase that every new puppy goes through. As your pup gets older and the damage starts piling up, though, you’ll find yourself looking for an answer to, “How to get my puppy to stop biting.”

In this article, we’re going to teach you how to train your toothy little monster, so he doesn’t become a dog that bite everyone. 

Related: Why does my puppy have hiccups?

Why Does My Puppy Bite?

There are a few reasons that puppies may bite. The most common one is that they’re curious, and this is another way to explore their world. They’re also likely to chew things if they’re teething as a way of relieving the discomfort. 

They may also nip playfully at each other or you from time to time. Nipping is not an indication of aggression; it’s just that the little fellers don’t know any better.

Sometimes pups may resort to biting out of frustration, or when they’re frightened. If they precede the bite by a growl, they ate you because you ignored a warning.

french bulldog biting the hand of a boy

How to Teach My Puppy to Stop Biting

Get a handle on biting behavior. Teach your pup that it’s not acceptable. Here are some techniques that get the message across without causing the dog distress. You should never yell at him or smack him as this can create fear in him.

30 years ago, it was popular to think that allowing a dog to gently bite human skin would be teaching the dog to be harmful and aggressive. It is now the belief that dogs can discern the difference between playfulness and aggression, meaning that allowing a puppy to gently bite your skin will not necessarily lead to aggression later.

Bite Inhibition

In a pack, puppies learn bite inhibition naturally while playing together. They learn that they bite too hard when the other pup yelps. Emulate this behavior by letting him bite you. When he chomps down too hard, let out a high-pitched yelp and make your hand limp.

Redirect

Redirection takes some planning. If your pup tries to bite you, pull your hand away before he has a chance. Then give him a treat or toy to redirect his energy to. 

Distraction

Choosing the right toys gives your pup something to chew. A toy that allows you to hide a treat inside works well here. Choose toys that make your pup work hard mentally as well.

Socialization

Arranging a play date for your dog will allow him to be socialized. The other dogs will soon teach your pup when they’re chomping down too hard.

Deterrence

You can also find products that taste terrible to discourage your dog from chewing. Place a little of the product on a cotton puff and give it to them. They’ll spit it out and smell it. Now you’ll need to apply the product to the items you don’t want him to bite. 

What if My Puppy Still Bites?

Your pup will take a while to get the hang of things. It could take days, or even a couple of weeks for him to learn. You should see some sort of improvement over that time. If he’s not improving at all, or the behavior starts escalating, it’s worth getting him evaluated by a professional.

A professional dog trainer can establish if there are issues of underlying aggression or fear. They’ll also be able to advise you on alternate training techniques.

Advanced puppy training classes might also provide some relief for you. 

Some Practical Help for Teething Puppies

Whether your puppy has just started nipping or you have been having trouble training them as they have gotten older, there’s still time to teach your pup. You can still train your dog with the following tips:

Tips on Handling Teething Puppies

Use Teething Toys

When a bone isn’t enough, substitute a chew toy when your dog nibbles your toes or fingers. You may want to stick with plastic or rubber if your puppy can shred after toys in mere seconds.

Get Puppy Classes

A professional dog trainer can help discipline your dog if you’re having a hard time doing it yourself. Many online pet training classes offer unlimited advice to address any problems.

Avoid Rough Play

Do not encourage rough play with your puppy. Always stop playtime when they have bitten you hard. This gives them a signal that biting that hurts others is never okay. Immediately distract them when this happens.

puppy snatching toy from owner

When Should You Be Concerned About Biting in Puppies?

When you have an older pup who is growling before he bites, it’s a sign that they are starting to exhibit aggressive behavior. If your dog doesn’t know that they are biting too hard or snarls whenever they do it, it could be a sign that you need professional help.

You can still stop your puppy from biting unnecessarily if you model gentleness and reward good behavior. Avoid punishing or yelling at your dog so that you don’t encourage aggressiveness. Your puppy will need gentle but constant guidance from you.

Conclusion

When it comes to training your pup, patience, and positive reinforcement are the keys. Shouting at your pup, or spanking them when they bite will damage their trust in you. Positive reinforcement, on the other hand, is a lot more effective. 

It’s your job to raise a well-balanced pup. Teach the puppy in the same way his pack mates would have in nature. Alternatively, use good old distraction tactics to teach the puppy to focus that energy elsewhere.

Be patient with him, and he’ll soon understand what he needs to do. 

Also read: 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Getting a Dog

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